Actor LeVar Burton received some serious backlash for what some considered to be an insensitive joke on Twitter about actor and director Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death.
The film industry was crushed by news of the death of the Academy Award-winning actor and reactions to his suspected drug overdose has varied on social media.
While fans of Hoffman were mourning his loss, others seemed to be more critical of the drug use and the fact that Hoffman wasted his talent.
“Damn, #PSH was SO talented,” Burton tweeted.
It was the second part of his tweet that rubbed some fans the wrong way.
“However, if y’all should find me dead with a needle in my arm, in my underwear… please put my pants on!”
Some people perceived the tweet to be Burton’s attempt at a joke, but when the Reading Rainbow star responded to the backlash, it became clear that he actually didn’t think it was a laughing matter.
“Not cool, dude,” one user tweeted to Burton.
He replied, “Not cool is shooting up when you got kids… #areyoukiddingme.”
Other actors, including Jared Padalecki from “Supernatural,” said that they didn’t see the death as a tragedy for the simple reason that Hoffman caused his own death.
“‘Sad’ isn’t the word I’d use to describe a 46-year-old man throwing his life away to drugs. ’Senseless’ is more like it. ‘Stupid.’ ” he tweeted.
Fans once again took to their own social media accounts to attack anyone who had anything negative to say about Hoffman, but Padalecki quickly explained that he just doesn’t agree with their definition of “tragedy.”
“I didn’t mean PSH is stupid or that addiction isn’t a reality,” he tweeted. “I simply meant I have a different definition of ‘tragedy.’ When I think ‘tragedy,’ I think of St Judes, of genocide, of articles I read in the paper. But, yes, either way, a death, is sad.”
The reactions came after Hoffman was found dead in the bathroom of his Greenwich Village apartment with a needle in his arm. He had serious battles with drug addictions in the past, but had managed to remain sober for the past 23 years after checking into rehab several years ago.